Lakewood Shomrim reports that residents have been receiving calls from unidentified people saying that they have kidnapped a family member or that a loved one has been involved in a terrible accident. The only way to get them back? Of course – pay the scammers.
“While these extortion scams are not new, residents must be prepared for them in case they get one,” Shomrim told Lakewood Alerts. “If you get such a call, it is a scam. Period. Do not engage. Do not send money. Immediately contact law enforcement.”
Some tips to not fall for phone scams:
- Don’t be pressured by a threatening caller. Stop, think and check whether their story is true.
- A government agency or trusted company will never ask you to pay by unusual methods such as by gift or store cards, iTunes vouchers, wire transfers or Bitcoins.
- If you receive a phone call from someone threatening you and asking you to pay a fee, hang up and do not respond.
- Don’t use any contact details provided by the caller. Verify their identity by calling the relevant organization directly—find them through an independent source such as a phone book, past bill or online search.
- Do not respond to texts or emails. If you do, the scammers will escalate their intimidation and attempts to get your money.
- Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust and never by email or over the phone.